Buildbase Honda’s Graeme Irwin and Martin Barr produced dominant performances to top the MX1 and MX2 podiums at round five of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean at Desertmartin on Sunday.

The two Irish riders went into their home round of the series determined to win and both achieved their goals in the deep sand of one of the UK’s premier circuits.

After topping qualifying by over two-and-a-half seconds, Graeme holeshot the opening MX1 moto on his CRF450R and led all the way to the flag for a four-second victory. Race two was a repeat performance and if anything he looked even smoother as he won by seven seconds and extended his series lead to 39 points with three rounds to go.


“It’s hard to put into words how I’m feeling right now,” said Graeme. “It’s been an amazing day. Qualification was great and then to win both races in front of my home crowd – it doesn’t get any better than that.

“I was maybe a little tight in the first race but in moto two I just relaxed, got in the flow and got the job done. After last year’s mistake proved to be so expensive I was determined to take home the win.

“With Martin on top in MX2 it’s been a great day for the team so a big thanks to everyone who makes what we do possible.”

Martin went into Desertmartin in third in the championship chase but has now moved up a position after racing to first and second-placed finishes on his CRF250R – although he was forced to dig deep after crashing in moto two.

“It’s been a really good day for me and the team,” said Martin. “It’s great to finally get that overall win at home – I don’t know how many times I’ve finished second overall here and now I’ve got that monkey off my back.

“Qualifying was a bit up and down but I ended up third which gave me a decent gate pick and I holeshot the first race. Micky Eccles passed me on the first lap but I didn’t panic and just followed him and put him under a bit of pressure. Once he started to make a few mistake I made my move, got my head down and pulled away.

“Race two I got another good start but it seemed to take me a few laps to get into in. Eccles put a charge on and disappeared a bit and then Ben Watson passed me. I followed him for a few laps but then tucked the front and crashed and after that I just concentrated on putting in fast, consistent laps.

“Eccles was about nine seconds ahead of me but I closed him right down and with half-a-lap to go I made the pass which I knew was good enough for the overall.

“I’m very, very happy. The home crowd was fantastic – they cheered me the whole way around – so a big thanks to them, the team and all my personal sponsors. It’s been a day I’ll not forget.”

Team boss Dave Thorpe was delighted by both of his riders’ performances.

“It’s been an absolutely amazing day,” he said. “To see Hondas on the top step of the podium in both classes means all the hard work and support from the riders, the mechanics and our partners has paid off. With four holeshots from four starts Martin and Graeme rode impeccably.

“Martin controlled the first race with ease. I felt he was going to have a go at Ben Watson in the second one but he made a little mistake and then dug deep to make sure he got the overall.

“Graeme rode a bit tight in the first race – maybe the home crowd and sense of occasion got to him a little bit – but the second moto was a different story and he really flowed.

“From day one when we went to Sardinia in January the team has worked tirelessly and when you have a weekend like this it makes everything worthwhile. It makes me immensely proud.”